Monday, May 31, 2010

The List

Today, I'm organizing my sewing to-do list.  (We're not even going to talk about my full to-do head might just explode.)

With today being a holiday and the first day that Richard has been home ALL DAY LONG and us having decided that today is a zero-pressure day for getting anything in particular done, I indulged and pulled out *my* stuff, instead of looking too closely at all of the things I need to do for the store.

It's still a lot of stuff!

I'll say upfront that I've been really inspired by the idea of Mending Week, as posted over at Making More with Less.  But when I looked at my mending pile, it was way smaller than my work-in-progress pile.  I mean, I *need* to fix the elastic in Bug's cloth diapers, but he's been letting me slide a little on I'm gonna run with it for just a little bit longer.

So, just focusing on things I want to finish up for the kids:   (Wow, the plural of that still catches me off-guard.)

Beanbags for the guys

A set of bean bags for Bug.  I stitched these up the week we moved into the studio so he'd have something else to play with there, but I don't really have any idea of what I should use to fill them.  I kind of want them to be washable, and using real beans would mean that they weren't.  But I don't want to fill them with plastic beads because they're plastic beads.  Hmm...

Bug's blanket fabric

I still need to wrap up Bug's quilt.  The top has been done for awhile now and I have the backing fabric.  I've been holding off because I want to use a layer of flannel on the inside instead of actual batting and I knew I had some, but haven't been able to put my hands on it.  I saw the flannel when we were cleaning out the room for my cousin, so I think I should actually be able to finish this project soon.

Boo's Wipes

A set of flannel wipes for Boo.  I think there's eight here.  I made three sets for Bug when he was born and we really loved them, but most of them have somehow disappeared over the last 2.5 years.  Not really sure how that happened.  Maybe they ran away with some of the single socks that disappeared in the wash?  Bug picked out the fabrics, and I think he did a great job.

Then there's this:

Blanket fabrics

I found these fabrics, 4" squares of cotton prints, cotton flannel (the orange) and cotton corduroy (the blue) that I had initially cut up for a project for Bug and his cousin, who's five weeks older than he is.  That didn't end up happening and now they're both a little too old to get anything out of that particular project.  And Boo will be too young for it for a good eight or nine months.  When I counted up the number of squares, I realized that I had the *perfect* amount needed to make a little toddler-sized blanket.  So that's what I'm going to do with them.

Look!  I was even able to steal a moment this afternoon to figure out the layout!

Blanket Layout

And, when I emerged from the bedroom where I had sequestered myself to do that without interruption, I discovered Richard bound - literally - in the living room.

All wrapped up

It seems that in the few minutes that I was in the other room, Bug discovered that he could unwind the wool dryer balls.  That little bitty quarter-sized ball of wool at Richard's feet was the size of a tennis ball about an hour ago.  Now it's draped over just about everything in the playroom...including the cats.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Quick Little Project

My house looks like it's exploded.  Seriously.  My cousin moved in yesterday and, things being what they have been around here lately, we weren't able to get the room completely cleared out until...yesterday.  Which means that everything is more or less hanging out in the living room tripping everybody up.  It's a little stressful.

I know it's temporary.  Most of it's sitting in the living room and lined up in the entryway because it's stuff that needs to go to the studio.  Very little of the stuff in that room needs to be rehomed elsewhere in the house.

It's still stressful.

So tonight, after an entirely-too-early start to the day, and dragging the toddler and my big, pregnant belly out in 100 degree heat, I came home and really needed to just do something that I *wanted* to do.  Recharge my batteries, if you will.

So I baked banana bread, with Bug's help.  I love making banana bread and this was the first time that Bug's been able to help.  It was a bit messy, but satisfying.  And, when Richard got home, the guys went for a walk - Bug on his very first bike ride!  So, I took the opportunity to sew.

WIP Potholder #1
WIP Potholder #2

They don't look like much right now, I know.  They're untrimmed and crazy looking.  But I think I love them.  And I think the finished project is going to work out really well.  And I think the person that I made them for will love them, too, which makes me happy.

Unfortunately, because she reads the blog from time to time and I'd like this to be a surprise, I don't dare explain any further.

But I think that my emotional batteries are feeling a bit more full, now. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

Oh my gosh... There's been so much going on here lately that I barely even know where to begin.

Bug and I have been spending a lot of time at home this week, staying up to late, sleeping in too late, running errands and somehow not managing to get to the studio at all.  Or for maybe an hour before we're ready for a nap and come home.  It's a little frustraing, but I've been carrying a big bin of work around with me, so I have stuff to do when I find a few minutes to do it.  Admittedly, we've also been watching waaaaaaaay too much tv.  I'm trying to convince myself that letting Bug watch more movies than normal while I'm pregnant isn't going to ruin his life.  I still feel guilty about it.  We've also been making more of an effort to get out and play.  We had a great water-play afternoon at Bug's bff's house last week, and finally set Bug's little swimming pool out on our patio.  Taking advantage of the summer and all that. :)

We also bought a new car!  Well, new to us.  It's pretty awesome.  And I'm really excited that now we not only have two reliable vehicles, but also two that will hold our kids.  Awesome.

We drove to pick it up. though.  It was a nice drive.  The weather was pretty, Bug was in a good mood and we made great time.  Considering that we drove from Houston almost all the way to Dallas, I was stunned.  We met the seller and his wife at a restaurant in Corsicana called Collin Street Bakery.  It was pretty and relaxed and smelled so good!  They sell their cakes and such via a catalog (and even own the pineapple plantation in Costa Rica that produces their fruit), and sell the cakes and fresh baked goods and pickles and such in the store.  And they make some really fabulous sandwiches.  Needless to say, we lunched there before heading home. 

The trip home...  Oof.  We made the drive to Corsicana in 3.5 hours.  The trip home took closer to seven.  Seven!  Part of that was that we took our time at lunch.  Then we had to stop in a small town that seemed to consist of two gas stations, a Taco Bell and a Pizza Hut for a toddler meltdown.  That took 90 minutes.  Then we stopped at Rudy's on the way home for dinner because we were so beat.  (Had NO idea there was a Rudy's in Houston!  Woo hoo!)

Rudy's was a little odd.  We've been to the ones in Austin and Brownsville and loved them.  The atmosphere here in Houston was identical, but it seemed that no one there had ever seen a pregnant woman before.  I've never noticed so many people staring at the belly or, even weirder, doing these odd sideways glances as they passed by.  Weird.

Just before we left, Richard took Bug to change his shirt (covered in banana pudding and goodness knows what else) and diaper and I chilled at the table.  I got up to refil my glass of water and, on my way back to the table, caught sight of another pregnant belly as a woman walked past.  I sat back down, looked up as she walked past again...and then realized that I KNEW HER.  It was a dear friend that I've stayed in contact with but haven't seen in person in a number of years.  Our schedules just never ever align.  And she's pregnant with her first baby (so excited for her!) and we ran into each other the day after her due date had passed.  It was beyond amazing to see her.  She had never met Bug, we had never met her was awesome. :)


Now, to completely change gears, how about I post some pictures?

I received my block from Sandi awhile back and finally got around to taking a picture.  This was for April from the Quilt Block Swap.  As I recall, my only request was for a wonky block of some sort.


Sandi seemed concerned about what I'd think of the block.  I LOVE it.  It's bright and crazy and fun.  Bug fell completely in love with it.  I think I'm actually going to turn it into a pillow for him.

And I finally finished my May block for Virginia.

She asked for a log cabin block in white and blues with the traditional red center square.  I will admit that I was a little terrified by this request.  I've never actually done a traditional block...everything's been wonky or otherwise made up so far.  And, for some reason, I had a really difficult time picking out the fabrics.

Luckily, Virginia had a really specific tutorial that she wanted followed, so the construction part was actually really easy-peasy when I got to it.  It went together really, really quickly and was actually quite a lot of fun to put together.

The fabrics I tripped over at Joann's.  Bug and I were wandering the aisles - not our first trip for this purpose either, which made it particularly depressing - and I wasn't really seeing anything that excited me all that much.  Then I saw the three white and blue fabrics and that was it.  They were perfect (at least in my mind, hopefully Virginia agrees!) and I knew they had to come home with us.

So, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.  Hopefully Virginia likes it, too. :)

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Big News!

This is a very small update...but very big news!

My dedicated web store is now officially OPEN!  There's still a ton of work to do on the site, and a whole lot of product still to post, but it's up!

Check it out: frog loves monkey

I'd love to know what you think. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Show and Tell: Swap Goodies and Quilt In Process

A few things to show off today.  Mostly because I did so much actual work on the computer today that my brain feels scrambled.  I had to pull out some stuff I could actually TOUCH. ;)

First, some goodies from the Sew, Mama, Sew! fat quarter swap.  I've received three of the four fat quarters and just can't stand not showing them off. :)

Received for Sew, Mama, Sew! fq Swap

Aren't they pretty?  I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite.  Thank you, ladies!!

This is the fabric that I sent out.  I hope my swap partners liked it.


I'm thinking that, just maybe, I've got a bit of a thing for bird fabric right now...

And speaking of.  I got the last of the print fabric that I need for the bedroom quilt!

I got more of "Birds" in brown and and "Blowing Leaves" in neutral from BratPacks.  I was so happy with how quickly the last order came (and her good prices!) that I couldn't resist ordering from her again.  (These are, of course, from Studio E's "Nature.ology" collection.)


And then I picked up "Feather Swirl" in brown and "Nature Weave" in turquoise from Creative Quilt Kits.  I was really happy with their pricing, communication and prompt delivery.  I'll definitely keep the site bookmarked for future reference.


I have to admit that I expected the "Nature Weave" print to be much more blue than it actually is in real life.  Every photo that I saw online looked very, very blue.  And when I pulled it out of the envelope it was most definitely much more green.  But Richard says he likes it (I was trying to work more blue into the quilt because it's his favorite color), so I guess it's all good.  It IS a pretty fabric.

This afternoon, I pulled out ALL of the prints and got them cut into fat quarters.


They still need to be pressed (again) and sorted, but I feel like I accomplished something by getting them cut.

Next step: picking the solid colors for the quilt top.  I'm waffling.  I need four yards each of neutral and contrasting colors, and I'm having a hard time deciding which colors to choose.  Cream and pale blue as neutrals?  Maybe brown instead of blue?  Just cream as the neutral and call brown, blue (two shades?) and green the contrasting colors?

...Too many options for this afternoon.

I'll play with the fabric a little more.  Sort the prints into pair combinations that I like.  Stare at them a little while.  It'll come to me.

Oh!  Bonus photo!

Bug insisted on taking pictures when I was done.  He got a nice version on his standard self-portrait.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Potholders, Done

Hrm...somehow I had the deadline for the Stitch In Dye potholder swap wrong and thought there was still a little time before mailing day.  Turns out I was wrong.  But I also finished them up in time, and so now they're on their way to Kelly.  I hope that she likes them!


A back view:


I chose the pink binding to make the pink in the floral on the front pop a bit more.  Somehow, that's not showing up very well in the photograps.  It looks better on the back, I think.

Also, while the binding DID eventually decide to cooperate with me, I ended up going back and adding a few layers of crazy zig-zag stitching over the edge.  Hopefully it looks like it was done on purpose - since it was - and not like I just gave up and decided to get the binding on however I could.  Always kind of a fear when I decide to do something like this.


Sunday, May 2, 2010


This evening, on the way home from the studio, we saw this little guy hanging out outside of the gas station.


Having grown up in the suburbs, my initial thought process went something like: "AHHHH! Raccoon out in daylight!  It must have rabies!"  ...And then I remembered that I was a block away from the nature center, and realized that two bicyclists were tossing nuts at him, and so he'd probably just snuck out of the woods for a little snack.  He looked really healthy, if terrified, and startled back into the trees before I could get a better picture.

Cute little guy, huh?